Agenda and minutes

Ordinary Meeting of the Council
Wednesday, 9th March, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Virtually Via Microsoft Teams - if you would like to attend this meeting live via Microsoft Teams please contact committee.services@blaenau-gwent

Contact: Democratic Services  6139

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Simultaneous Translation

You are welcome to use Welsh at the meeting, a minimum notice period of 3 working days is required should you wish to do so.  A simultaneous translation will be provided if requested.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.

 

2.

Apologies

To receive.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor M. Holland.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

To consider any declarations of interest and dispensations received.

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were reported:

    

Item No. 19: Revenue Budget 2022/2023

 

-      Councillors Malcolm Cross, Lyn Elias, John Hill, Wayne Hodgins, Haydn Trollope, Thomas Smith and Bernard Willis

 

The above-named Members remained in the meeting whilst this item of business was considered.

 

Item No. 20: Corporate Fees and Charges 2022/2023

 

-      Councillors Stewart Healy and Wayne Hodgins

 

The above-named Members remained in the meeting whilst this item of business was considered.

 

Item No. 24: Pay Policy Statement 2022/2023

 

-      Michelle Morris – Managing Director

-      Damien McCann – Corporate Director of Social Services

-      Lynn Phillips – Corporate Director of Education

-      Rhian Hayden – Chief Officer Resources

-      Bernadette Elias – Interim Chief Officer Commercial

-      Andrea Jones – Head of Legal & Corporate Compliance

-      Andrea Prosser – Head of Organisational Development

-      Clive Rogers – Head of Community Services

-      Ellie Fry – Head of Regeneration

-      Sarah King – Head of Governance & Partnerships

-      Gina Taylor – Service Manager Accountancy

-      Gemma Wasley – Service Manager – Performance & Democratic

-      Richard Bridge - Organisational Development Manager – Payroll, Health & Safety

-      Steve Berry – Data Protection & Governance Officer

-      Louise Bishop – Press & Publicity Officer

-      Ceri Edwards-Brown – Democratic Officer

-      Leeann Turner – Democratic & Committee Support Officer

 

 

 

 

 

The Managing Director confirmed that following advice received from the Monitoring Officer, whilst above-named officers had declared an interest in respect of the Pay Policy Statement 2022/23 they would be permitted to remain in the meeting.  However, should debate ensue those officers who had declared an interest would leave the meeting at the appropriate juncture with the exception of:

 

-      Ceri Edwards-Brown – Democratic Officer (minute clerk)

 

Item No. 28: Shortlisting – Interim Chief Executive

 

-      Damien McCann – Corporate Director of Social Services

-      Bernadette Elias – Chief Officer Commercial & Customer

 

Item No. 30: Appointments Committee – Interim Chief Executive

 

-      Damien McCann – Corporate Director of Social Services

-      Bernadette Elias – Chief Officer Commercial & Customer

 

Following advice received from the Monitoring Officer, the above-named

officers were able to remain in the meeting whilst Item Nos. 28 and 30

were considered.

 

4.

Chair's Announcements

To receive.

Minutes:

Ukrainian/Russian Conflict:

 

The Leader of the Council referred to the current horrendous situation in the Ukraine as the unprovoked invasion of country continued to escalate, as did the appalling dire humanitarian crisis, which had resulted in the displacement of almost a million people in the first seven days and now two million refugees had fled Ukraine after two weeks and this exodus was unfortunately, anticipated to continue as long as the war persisted.

 

He continued by stating that everyone’s thoughts were with all those affected by this situation and last week the General Office building had been lit up in the colours of the Ukrainian national flag to show the County Borough’s solidarity with its people. 

The Leader advised that it was difficult at this stage to predict exactly what may or may not unfold over the coming period and how this may impact on the country and indeed communities.  In the days and weeks ahead, people would have concerns about the impact of this war in Ukraine and at home and said that the Council would do all it could to gather and provide information and support to residents. 

 

As part of the public service response, the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) had met with Welsh Government to explore options to ensure support could be provided in Wales when Ukrainian citizens began to arrive.  Further to this, the Leader of the WLGA had written to the Prime Minister and Home Secretary on behalf of the 22 Welsh local authorities expressing concern that amongst other things the U.K. refugee resettlement process was too complex, narrow and restrictive unlike the U.K.’s European neighbours who had moved at speed and had streamlined processes and relaxed rules.  The Leader of the WLGA had, therefore, requested that U.K. Government reconsider the current position and further updates would be provided in due course when more of the details were established. 

 

Councillor John Mason had convened a meeting, as Chair, of the Resettlement Working Group on 14th March to discuss the latest position with regards to the possible resettlement of vulnerable people from Ukraine and local arrangements, at which he was certain that suggestions around further necessary preparations would be discussed at the meeting and he hoped by that time further information would have been received from the WLGA.  In addition, the Council would continue to work closely with key agencies at a national, regional, and local level to keep matters under close review to ensure it could respond as best it could to any implications arising for the local communities. 

    

The Leader continued by advising that there had been huge generosity from the Welsh public and indeed people and organisations within its own communities and he offered sincere thanks on behalf of Council to each and every person who had made a contribution thus far. People had been eager to donate and support the people of Ukraine, however, donations of physical goods presented logistical difficulties both here and abroad and, therefore, people were urged  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Minute Book - November 2021 - February 2022

Minutes:

The Minute Book for the period November 2021 – February 2022 was submitted for consideration.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the minutes be approved and confirmed as a true record of proceedings.

 

6.

Ordinary Meeting of the Council pdf icon PDF 305 KB

To consider and if thought fit, approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 27th January, 2022.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

7.

Special Meeting of the Council pdf icon PDF 332 KB

To consider and if thought fit, approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 7th February, 2022.

 

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

8.

Planning, Regulatory and General Licensing Committee (Planning Matters) pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Planning, Regulatory and General Licensing Committee (Planning Matters) held on 3rd February, 2022.

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

9.

Executive pdf icon PDF 216 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Executive held on 19th January, 2022.

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

10.

Special Executive pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Special Executive held on 23rd February, 2022.

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

11.

Community Services Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 312 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Community Services Scrutiny Committee held on 15th November, 2021.

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

12.

Regeneration Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 268 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Regeneration Scrutiny Committee held on 8th December, 2021.

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

13.

Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 248 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee held on 10th December, 2021.

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

14.

Public Services Board Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 221 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Public Services Board Scrutiny Committee held on 13th December, 2021.

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

15.

Community Services Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Special Community Services Scrutiny Committee held on 24th January, 2022.

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

16.

Joint Scrutiny Committee (Budget Monitoring) pdf icon PDF 221 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Special Joint Scrutiny Committee (Budget Monitoring) held on 8th February, 2022.

Minutes:

Agreed.

 

17.

Members Questions

To receive questions, if any, from Members.

 

Minutes:

Question No. 1

 

The following question was received from Councillor Phil Edwards, Leader of the Minority Independent Group and was responded to by Councillor Nigel Daniels, Leader of the Council:

 

Question:

 

Following the revelation in a recent meeting that CCTV cameras would be installed in the Arcade in Abertillery. Would the Leader explain where the funding came from and who decided to site them there?

 

Response:

 

The CCTV camera in Abertillery Arcade was a replacement for a long standing now obsolete camera that was installed due to high levels of anti-social behaviour experienced in that area in the Arcade a considerable number of years. Unfortunately, now due to the continuation of anti-social behaviour in this confined area and following a data protection impact assessment, the decision process taken by officers had been based on strong information and intelligence received by the local police, the community and information and complaints received from residents together with local Abertillery Members.  This had brought the appropriate Council officers to determine and conclude that in the interests and principle of the CCTV camera arrangements, that a replacement was required and funding for this camera had been met from within the existing CCTV revenue budget.

 

Supplementary Question:

 

There were private properties located in the Arcade (which the Council seemed to be supplementing) and the gates on the Arcade were locked each evening and the Member, therefore, asked how anti-social behaviour could be persisting in this area.

 

Response:

 

Abertillery Arcade was the Council’s responsibility and the Council had a duty to clean and maintain it and there was a small budget available for that purpose.  Whilst the Leader was unable to divulge the details of how anti-social behaviour was persisting even though the gates were secured nightly by officers, he gave an assurance that this was fully supported by the police because it would enable them to identify the perpetrators and take appropriate action.  This course of action would also protect Council property.

 

Question No. 2

 

The following question was received from Councillor Hedley McCarthy, and was responded to by Councillor Dai Davies, Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development:

 

Question:

 

Given recent adverse press reports about Trinity Chapel, which still stands idle and empty after six years. Would the Executive Member for Regeneration explain to Council why the project was at an impasse and why we were no nearer completing than we were at the start of this term in 2017?

 

Response:

 

The Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development commenced by stating that he regretted that the completion of Trinity Chapel had not been achieved during his time as Executive Member. 

 

He referred to the first part of the question which stated that ‘Trinity Chapel had stood idle and empty for six years’ and pointed out that the building had been acquired by the local authority in 2009/2010, so, therefore, it had been idle and empty for many years prior to 2017.  During 2015 there had been investment of £1.2m spent on the project and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Public Questions

To receive questions, if any, from the public.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions submitted by members of the public.

 

19.

Censure Motion pdf icon PDF 41 KB

To consider the attached Motion.

Minutes:

The Chair commenced by reminding Council that this was a Censure Motion and not a vote of no confidence as reported in the press and invited the Leader of the Labour Group to present the Censure Motion at this juncture.

 

The Leader of the Labour Group commenced by stating that this was a technical issue and the Motion needed debating.  Given the statement made by the Chair, he asked the Monitoring Officer to confirm whether this was correct because his understanding was that the Motion needed to be signed by at least 7 Members which included Members from at least two political groups to be valid and, therefore, did not require the support of two-thirds of Council.

 

The Head of Legal and Corporate Compliance advised that the Council’s Constitution did not make reference to a ‘vote of no confidence’.  There was, however, reference to a Motion to remove the Leader of the Council which may have been construed as a vote of no confidence and in order to achieve the removal of the Leader, the Constitution stipulated that two-thirds of the Members present must support the Motion.  This Motion had been defined as a ‘Censure Motion’ and said that in her opinion as the Monitoring Officer, this was the appropriate label for this Motion.  

 

The Leader of the Labour Group said that motions of no confidence were common place across the country and they could take place and were allowed to be considered.  These motions were not required to meet the two-thirds threshold for removal of the Leader, so in essence this was a motion of no confidence and a motion to debate.  The Leader of the Labour Group continued by presenting the Censure Motion as follows:

 

The recent Council meeting of 7th February 2022 dealt with the long-awaited report by Audit Wales into, ‘Deficiencies in Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s governance and oversight of Silent Valley Waste Services.’ 

.

When questioned on 7th February, the Managing Director, Michelle Morris, revealed that Councillor Daniels had been a recipient of the original whistleblowing letter where the officer was named and other parties who had received this letter included the Lead officer, Trade Unions and Deputy Leader.

 

The officer named in the report was working for the Council and this meant that on 22nd March 2018, Councillor Daniels had known that the recipient of the proposed flexible retirement was amongst those being investigated by both Gwent Police and Audit Wales for seven months before that meeting took place. Councillor Daniels had deliberately withheld this information from his Council colleagues, who were completely ignorant of those involved in the investigation. 34 Members had been present at this meeting, 32 of whom had no idea that this officer was involved in the on-going investigations.  The Leader of the Labour Group believed that if Members had been made aware of this information, he felt that this unsafe report would not have been supported.

 

For the reasons outlined above the Members who had signed the Censure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Revenue Budget 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 804 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors Malcolm Cross, Lyn Elias, John Hill, Wayne Hodgins, Haydn Trollope, Thomas Smith and Bernard Willis declared an interest in this item but remained in the meeting whilst it was considered.

 

Consideration was given to the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

 

The Chief Officer Resources explained that this was the final stage of the budget setting process and outlined the salient points contained within the report as follows:

 

-      The Gwent Office of Police and Crime Commissioner had issued precepts to the Council totalling £6,342,390.

 

-      Town/Community Councils precepts amounted to £555,101.

 

-      Including Discretionary rate relief of £208,000, the total net revenue budget for 2022/2023 was £168,267,696.

 

Section 25, Local Government Act 2003required that the Chief Officer Resources of this Authority to report on the two following points:

 

i.             The robustness of the estimates included in the budget

ii.            The adequacy of the Authority’s reserves.

 

In respect of (i) above, the Chief Officer was able to conclude that the estimates had been compiled with the most up to date information available and are suitably robust. Cost pressures have been considered during the budget setting process and for the medium term.

 

In respect of (ii) above, paragraphs 5.1.9 to 5.1.12 demonstrated that the Authority’s financial position is improving and was looking to achieve a sustainable position for the forthcoming year and in the medium term. The reserves protocol would continue to review reserves in order to ensure that Reserves were kept at a sustainable level in the medium term.

 

In reply to a question raised regarding Town/Community Council precepts, the Chief Officer Resources confirmed that Abertillery & Llanhilleth Community Council had increased its precept for 2022/23 by 52.39%.

 

A Member said whilst it was pleasing that a 0% increase in council tax for the 2022/23 financial year was being proposed, however, he expressed his concern that a Band D property in Blaenau Gwent had the highest council tax levels in Wales and this needed to be addressed. The Member continued by stating that it was pleasing to note that three of the Town Councils had reduced their levels of precepts for this year and asked whether the Council scrutinised and audited the town/community council precept levels for each of the areas.

 

The Chief Officer Resources confirmed that the town/community council had the autonomy to set their own precept levels and the Council had no control over the decisions made.

 

The Leader of the Labour Group suggested that maybe in future dialogue take place with the town/community councils regarding their precept levels.  Another Member said that town/community council’s expenditure should be scrutinised going forward.

 

In reply to question, the Chief Officer Resources advised that she was unaware of any measures that could be imposed to cap the level of town/community council precepts but would undertake to investigate.  Each town/community council was subject to external audit which included the precept and the use of it on an annual basis. 

 

The Leader of the Council wished to place on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Corporate Fees & Charges 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 709 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

 

Councillors Stewart Healy and Wayne Hodgins declared an interest in this item and remained in the meeting whilst it was considered.

 

Members considered the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

 

The Chief Officer Resources spoke to the report and advised that:

 

-      The current Fees and Charges register had been reviewed to:

-      Ensure all fees & charges included on the register were relevant for 2022/2023.

-      Reflect changes in local and national policy and charges.

-      Reflect the assumptions included within the Medium Term Financial Strategy, where appropriate.

 

-      The register included charges which had received:

-       An inflationary uplift of 2% per annum as included agreed in the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

-      No fee increases

-      Fees and charges that were proposed to be increased by more than 2%.

 

-      The proposed fees for Licensing would be considered by the Licensing Committee and had been included in the Register for completeness. It was proposed to maintain the fees at 2021/2022 level based on the National framework full cost model.

 

-      Social Services (variable) – These fees were currently under negotiation with Providers to reflect the appropriate increase to cover the additional cost of the Real Living Wage, increase in NI Contributions, energy costs etc.  However, the delay in receiving the full guidance on the implementation of the real living wage had created difficulty with these negotiations.   Therefore, it was proposed that delegated power be granted to the Corporate Director of Social Services to set these fees and charges for 2022/2023.

 

-      The fees and charges for Aneurin Leisure Trust were attached for core services for 2022/23 to be approved by Council in-line with funding and management agreement.  The proposed increase to the majority of fees was around 3% however, a number of fees had reduced by up to 30% and a number had increased by up to 36% which was due to standardising the junior and concession rates across the business as a set percentage of the standard fee to improve the consistency moving forward.

 

The Leader of the Council proposed that the report be endorsed subject to the following amendments:

 

-      An increase of 10% on School Meals would not be applied.  The cost would remain at current 2021/2022 prices.

-      The price of Meals on Wheels would not increase and the cost would be retained at 2021/2022 prices.

 

A Member said that at the time when the wellbeing of children was paramount, a number of the uplifts to charges proposed by Aneurin Leisure Trust would cause a barrier for children, young people and the community to participate in sports and activities.  He was unable to condone an increase of these magnitudes and felt that the percentage increase was disproportionate when efforts were being made to encourage young people to participate in sports and said that these increases should in line with inflation only.  The charges referred to related to:

 

-      Junior Swim – 17.4% increase

-      Concessionary Junior Swim – 16.11% increase

-      Lifestyle Studio –  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Treasury Management - Treasury Strategy Statement, Investment Strategy & MRP Policy Statement 2021/2022 (including Prudential Indicators) pdf icon PDF 601 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

 

The Chief Officer Resources spoke briefly to the report and highlighted the salient points contained therein.  It was pointed out that local authorities were required to prepare, before the start of each financial year, a statement of their policy on making revenue provision to cover debt repayments (known as MRP or Minimum Revenue Provision) in respect of that financial year and submit it to full Council for approval. The MRP statement for 2022/23 was, therefore, also included as part of the Treasury Strategy Statement (Appendix A).  The Treasury Management Policy Statement was also attached for information as Appendix B.

 

These policies would be adhered to at all times with the prime objectives being firstly the security and secondly the liquidity of investments and would also seek to minimise the revenue costs of debt whilst maintaining a prudent level of debt redemption.

 

There were no significant changes to the proposed policy for 2022/23.  The main change included further development of an annual investment strategy to provide additional opportunities for the higher levels of investment currently forecast in the medium term.  In addition, the policy detailed the prudential indicators which would monitor performance, which would be reported to Members throughout the course of the 2022/2023 financial year. 

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that the Annual Treasury Strategy Statement, Annual Investment Strategy and MRP Policy Statement for 2022/2023 financial year and the Treasury Management Prudential Indicators contained therein be approved.

 

23.

Capital Strategy 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 522 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

 

The Chief Officer Resources spoke to the report and explained that the Capital Strategy was intended to give a high level overview of how capital expenditure, capital financing and treasury management activity contributed to the provision of services along with an overview of how associated risk was managed and the implications for future financial sustainability.  The development of a Capital Strategy allowed flexibility to engage with Full Council to ensure that the overall strategy, governance procedures and risk appetite were fully understood by all elected Members.

 

Whilst there were no significant changes required to be made to the 2022/2023 Capital Strategy, recent developments to The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) Treasury Management and Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities which had been revised in 2020/2021 would result in changes that would impact on future Capital Strategy reports from 2023/2024 onwards when formal adoption of the revised codes was required.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed, namely that the Capital Strategy 2022/2023 be agreed.

 

24.

Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 717 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Organisational Development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Organisational Development.

 

At the invitation of the Chair, the Organisational Development Manager – Payroll, Health & Safety spoke in detail to the report and highlighted the determinations contained within the report of the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW) for 2022/23. 

 

It was noted that as local elections were currently pending, the new arrangements would become effective from 9th May, 2022 and for the period 1st April, 2021 to 8th May, 2022 the current 2021/2022 IRPW determinations would apply.

 

In reply to a question, the Organisational Development Manager confirmed that it was the choice of individual Members whether to forego or reduce their levels of remuneration.

 

The Leader of the Council advised that the Council previously responded to the IRPW as part of the consultation period on the draft 2022/2023 determinations expressing objections and concerns to the proposals and stated that the Council was now required to note the final determinations. 

 

The Leader of the Labour Group expressed his concern regarding the proposed increases to remuneration levels at the current time when there were severe financial constraints being experienced by so many.  He, thereupon, proposed that the status quo be retained i.e. remuneration be maintained at 2021/2022 levels.  Other Members concurred with these comments and expressed their collective concern regarding the current increase in the cost of living and expressed concerns regarding noting the determinations going forward.

 

The Leader of the Council reiterated that a collective response had been forwarded expressing concerns and objections to the proposals and the determinations were for noting only and pointed out that these determinations would be applicable throughout Wales and it would be the decision of individual Councillors to accept the level of remuneration that they felt appropriate. 

 

 

The Head of Legal and Corporate Compliance advised that the report was for noting only and not for approval and the determinations would be implemented regardless of concerns expressed.  This was a unique situation and there was no option to reject these determinations. Members objections had been noted but it was a matter for individual Members to accept the appropriate level of remuneration.

 

For clarification, the Chief Officer Resources advised that the Council was legally obliged to implement the determinations of the IRPW report and reiterated that it was for individual Members to decide whether to give up or forego any element of the remuneration.  It was noted that should a Member decide to voluntary forgo part of their remuneration, the national insurance and tax deductions would be based on the net amount.  Remuneration was paid as part of the Council budget and any underspends would be retained within this budget.

 

For clarification, the Head of Legal and Corporate Compliance advised that a decision or alternative motion could not be taken (i.e. to retain current remuneration levels) that would bind all Members because the determinations were permitted in law and was a matter for individuals to decide whether to accept the full amount.   The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

Pay Policy Statement 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 423 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Organisational Development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following officers declared an interest in this item and remained in the meeting whilst the item was considered:

 

-      Michelle Morris – Managing Director

-      Damien McCann – Corporate Director of Social Services

-      Lynn Phillips – Corporate Director of Education

-      Rhian Hayden – Chief Officer Resources

-      Bernadette Elias – Interim Chief Officer Commercial

-      Andrea Jones – Head of Legal & Corporate Compliance

-      Andrea Prosser – Head of Organisational Development

-      Clive Rogers – Head of Community Services

-      Ellie Fry – Head of Regeneration

-      Sarah King – Head of Governance & Partnerships

-      Gina Taylor – Service Manager Accountancy

-      Gemma Wasley – Service Manager – Performance & Democratic

-      Richard Bridge - Organisational Development Manager – Payroll, Health & Safety

-      Steve Berry – Data Protection & Governance Officer

-      Louise Bishop – Press & Publicity Officer

-      Ceri Edwards-Brown – Democratic Officer

-      Leeann Turner – Democratic & Committee Support Officer

 

However, should debate ensue those officers who had declared an interest would leave the meeting at the appropriate juncture with the exception of:

 

-      Ceri Edwards-Brown – Democratic Officer (minute clerk)

 

The report of the Head of Organisational Development was submitted for consideration.

 

The Head of Organisational Development spoke briefly to the report and it was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 be endorsed namely, that the Pay Policy Statement 2022/2023 be approved.

 

 

 

26.

Memberships Report pdf icon PDF 359 KB

To consider the attached report.

Minutes:

Advisory Panel for Local Authority Governors

 

The following recommendations were made by the Panel on 8th March, 2022 to appoint in principle:

 

All Saints Primary School – Laura Newall

 

Tredegar Comprehensive School – Adrian Tuck

 

It was, thereupon unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the above appointments be endorsed.

 

27.

Appreciation

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council at this juncture announced that this was the last formal meeting of Council that the Managing Director would be attending prior to leaving to take up her new position and said it would be remiss not to take the opportunity to genuinely express his appreciation to Michelle for all her hard work and dedication to the Council during her time as Managing Director.  He had found Michelle to have been a very effective worker, she had worked with all political leadership on all sides of the Council and had been fair, straight and had worked hard to deliver on the priorities that had been important for the Council and its residents.

 

Michelle had undertaken a massive amount of work in transforming services and bringing efficiency and modernising the organisation and in the past 2 years with Managing Director at the helm, the way Council had navigated through the hugely significant challenges of the Covid pandemic had been phenomenal, working in conjunction with colleagues and Members in Blaenau Gwent and as part of the regional emergency response.

 

The Leader said that he was aware of the respect and esteem Michelle had built up in 5 years with colleague chief executive’s and officers across Gwent, the region and Wales.  He concluded by stating that it had been absolute pleasure and privilege working with Michelle and wished her well in her new role as the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

 

The Leader of the Labour Group concurred with the comments made by the Leader and said that Michelle would be a loss to the Council but wished her well in her new role.

 

The Chair added her congratulations to Michelle in her new role.

 

The Managing Director expressed her appreciation to both Leaders for their kind words and expressed her appreciation to Council for the opportunity that she had been provided with to undertake the role for the last four and half years.  It had been a privilege and she was proud of what had been achieved over that period.  The last two years which the Council had managed to navigate its way through, had been an extraordinary time for everyone.

 

The Managing Director took the opportunity by expressing her appreciation to the Corporate Leadership Team who had supported her through her time in the role and said she knew these officers would continue to lead the Council from the professional side and to staff who were the Council’s biggest asset, who had gone above and beyond in extraordinary circumstances and she expressed her appreciation to them for their continued commitment and support to Council.  The Managing Director concluded by wishing the Council, staff and Blaenau Gwent very best wishes for the future.

 

28.

Exempt Items(s)

To receive and consider the following report(s) which in the opinion of the proper officer is/are an exempt item(s) taking into account consideration of the public interest test and that the press and public should be excluded from the meeting (the reason for the decision for the exemption is available on a schedule maintained by the proper officer).

 

Minutes:

To receive and consider the following reports which in the opinion of the proper officer were exempt items taking into account consideration of the public interest test and that the press and public should be excluded from the meeting (the reasons for the decisions for the exemption were available on a schedule maintained by the proper officer).

 

The Chief Officer Commercial & Customer left the meeting at this juncture.

 

29.

Shortlisting - JNC Officers

To consider the report of the Shortlisting Panel held on 2nd February, 2022.

Minutes:

Item Nos 27 – 30 were considered simultaneously.

 

Having regard to the views expressed by the Proper Officer regarding the public interest test, that on balance, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information and that the report should be exempt.

 

RESOLVED that the public be excluded whilst this item of business is transacted as it is likely there would be a disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 12 & 13, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972 (as amended).

 

Consideration was given to the report of the meeting held on

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report which related to staffing matters be accepted and the decisions contained therein be noted.

 

30.

Shortlisting - Interim Chief Executive

To consider the report of the meeting held on 28th February, 2022.

Minutes:

 

 

The Corporate Director of Social Services and Chief Officer Commercial and Customer declared an interest in this item.

 

Having regard to the views expressed by the Proper Officer regarding the public interest test, that on balance, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information and that the report should be exempt.

 

RESOLVED that the public be excluded whilst this item of business is transacted as it is likely there would be a disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 12 & 13, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972 (as amended).

 

Consideration was given to the report of the meeting held on 28th February, 2022.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report which related to staffing matters be accepted and the decisions contained therein be noted.

 

31.

Appointments Committee - JNC Officers

To consider the report of the Appointments Committee held on 1st March, 2022.

Minutes:

Having regard to the views expressed by the Proper Officer regarding the public interest test, that on balance, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information and that the report should be exempt.

 

RESOLVED that the public be excluded whilst this item of business is transacted as it is likely there would be a disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 12 & 13, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972 (as amended).

 

Consideration was given to the report of the meeting held on 1st March, 2022.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report which related to staffing matters be accepted and the post be offered to Vikki Gledhill on a salary in accordance with JNC 1 (£51,407 - £56,544).  

 

32.

Appointments Committee - Interim Chief Executive

To consider the report of the meeting held on 7th March, 2022.

Minutes:

The Corporate Director of Social Services and Chief Officer Commercial and Customer declared an interest in this item.

 

Having regard to the views expressed by the Proper Officer regarding the public interest test, that on balance, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information and that the report should be exempt.

 

RESOLVED that the public be excluded whilst this item of business is transacted as it is likely there would be a disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 12 & 13, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972 (as amended).

 

Consideration was given to the report of the meeting held on 7th March, 2022.

 

It was unanimously,

 

RESOLVED that the report which related to staffing matters be accepted and the post be offered to Damien McCann on a salary in accordance with JNC Chief Executive (£102,976 - £111,055).